Northwest Partnerships Awarded Federal Funding for Expanding Solar Energy in Low-Income Communities


$3.7 million in funding will support expanding solar energy access in the Northwest.

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Energy is pleased to announce today two new U.S. Department of Energy grants benefiting Oregon and northwest partners working on renewable energy and energy accessibility. ODOE is a co-recipient of both grants, which were announced yesterday by the USDOE. Both grants are through the USDOE’s SunShot Initiative, which supports innovations that make solar energy more competitive with traditional energy sources.

Oregon, along with the Clean Energy States Alliance and five other states, was awarded $1.7 million from SunShot to develop strategies that will bring solar to more low- and moderate-income residents. ODOE, together with Energy Trust of Oregon, will work with local steering committee members and experts from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify barriers and create approaches that will increase solar adoption. ODOE and Energy Trust will engage with organizations that serve low- and moderate-income Oregonians to develop and implement the most effective strategies. ODOE will provide $18,000 in matching funds.

A second SunShot grant of $2 million has been awarded to the Solar Plus initiative, a three-year partnership between Oregon and Washington agencies, utilities, nonprofits, and community groups. The grant application was submitted by the Washington Department of Commerce; ODOE and Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (NW SEED) will help implement the grant, with ODOE providing $30,000 in matching funds.

Together, Solar Plus partners are working to equitably grow the solar market in the Northwest and move the region toward the energy grid of the future. In particular, the group will focus on increasing the development of community solar, expanding solar access and benefits for low-income families, and strengthening energy grid resiliency.

“We look forward to working with our partners to maximize the value solar can bring to the grid while reducing barriers that limit access to solar energy for Oregon families,” said ODOE Director Michael Kaplan. “We’re grateful that USDOE is investing in our communities.”

CONTACT: Rachel Wray, 503-689-0294 Jenny Kalez, 503-480-9239